An effective and successful response to a spill of oil depends to a significant extent upon the quality of the leadership shown by those in command or management. An organisational structure is called for that provides leadership through the difficult decisions and compromises that have to be made at all stages of the response. The organisational structure is also responsible for managing the expectations and widely differing demands of the multitude of governmental and private organisations that can be involved, as well as imparting the confidence necessary to cope with political pressure and the concerns of the public.
This paper considers many of the situations encountered in a response to ship-source pollution and explains how effective leadership, command and management can maximise the success of response operations. Many of the subjects touched on are discussed in greater detail in other ITOPF papers in this series, as listed on the back cover, but in particular, the paper on Contingency Planning for Marine Oil Spills.